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Mr. Brady: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security, pursuant to his answer of 4 April 2001, Official Report, column 204W, on home visits, if he will provide information on a comparable basis on the numbers of home visits in each of the last five years. 
|Year||Number of visits|
Ms Harman: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will estimate the amount by which the reduction in Social Security spending in London was attributable to changes in the number of (a) people unemployed and (b) lone parents on Income Support in each year since 1996. 
|Year||Jobseeker's Allowance||IS Lone Parents|
1. Figures are based on a 5 per cent. sample from the Jobseeker's Allowance and Income Support quarterly statistical inquiries and are therefore subject to a degree of sampling error.
2. Figures rounded to the nearest £10 million.
3. November 1996 is the base quarter.
4. November 2000 quarterly expenditure has been used as a proxy for the February 2001 quarter, as data are not yet available for this quarter.
10 Apr 2001 : Column: 624W
Significant fluctuations in the number of occupational pension schemes opened, closed and wound up in any particular year largely take place in years when alterations were made to the pensions regulatory regime. For example, the Social Security Act 1986, which came into force in 1988, permitted contracting-out of the State Earnings Related Pension Scheme on a money purchase basis for the first time; the Pensions Act 1995, which came into force in 1997, contained measures to increase security for members of occupational pension schemes.
It is important to note that the increases and decreases in these figures do not necessarily reflect large alterations in the overall coverage of occupational pension schemes. For example, most of the schemes registered in the late 1980's and the vast majority of the schemes wound-up in the late 1990's were small schemes with few members.
|Year||Number of schemes first registered in that year(53)||Number of occupational schemes with a frozen or closed status and a date of change within a particular year(54)||Number of schemes that wound up in that year(55)|
(53) Figures are based on registrable date which is the closest available information to indicate the start date of the scheme
(54) Figures may not be entirely accurate as there may be many schemes on the Registry's database that were once closed to new members but have now completed their winding-up
(55) Figures are based on the wound-up date of occupational pension schemes. Many of these schemes will have begun the wind-up process in an earlier year
The Pensions Schemes Registry
Mr. Laurence Robertson: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security when he will make a far east prisoner of war compensation payment to Gnr. H. J. Wilson, 118 Field Regiment RA, number 2558494. 
Mr. Bayley: The administration of the ex-gratia payment scheme for former far east prisoners of war is a matter for the Acting Chief Executive of the War Pensions Agency, Alan Burnham. He will write to the hon. Member.
10 Apr 2001 : Column: 625W
Ms Glenda Jackson: To ask the Secretary of State for Social Security if he will make a statement on the effects, with statistical information, on Hampstead and Highgate of his Department's policies since 2 May 1997. 
10 Apr 2001 : Column: 626W
Measures in our five Budgets so far will lift over 1.2 million children nationally out of poverty. These include record increases to Child Benefit, the introduction of the Working Families Tax Credit, increases in the income-related benefits, the minimum wage and tax changes.
Child Benefit will be worth £15.50 a week for the eldest child and £10.35 a week for other children from April 2001: nationally about 7 million families receive Child Benefit, and in Hampstead and Highgate 8,565 families benefit.
We now have the lowest unemployment rate in 25 years. The New Deals have helped lone parents, the young unemployed, the long-term unemployed, the over 50s and partners of the unemployed to move from benefit into work. In the period since May 1997 the number of people claiming Jobseeker's Allowance nationally has reduced from 1,562,400 to 960,600; in Hampstead and Highgate the number has reduced from 4,600 to 2,500. Since May 1997 the number of lone parents who claim Income Support has decreased from 1,013,500 to 894,100 nationally and in Hampstead and Highgate from 2,500 to 2,100.
Older people are disproportionately affected by fuel poverty. So we have introduced Winter Fuel Payments to help with their heaviest fuel bill. This winter, the payment is £200 for households who qualify. Around 13,700 older people in Hampstead and Highgate have received a Winter Fuel Payment for this winter (2000-2001).
To demonstrate our commitment to combating pensioner poverty, this year we will spend £4.5 billion extra in real terms on pensioners. Some 12,100 pensioners in Hampstead and Highgate will benefit from the substantial increases in the basic State pension this April and next; this year's increase is £5 a week for single pensioners and £8 for couples. In addition we have introduced free TV licences for the over 75s of whom we estimate there are about 6,000 in Hampstead and Highgate. 3,000 pensioner families in Hampstead and Highgate are receiving the Minimum Income Guarantee, which we introduced in April 1999 to help our poorest pensioners. From April they will be at least £15 a week, or £800 a year, better off in real terms as a result of Government measures since 1997.
10 Apr 2001 : Column: 627W
Other reforms in the pipeline include: the new Pension Credit in 2003 designed to ensure that pensioners benefit from their savings; the launch of Stakeholder Pensions in April this year; and the introduction of the State Second Pension in April 2002 both of which will help provide greater security for tomorrow's pensioners.
Mr. Rooker: We estimate that over 2 million pensioners in Great Britain as a whole will benefit from this April's increases to the Minimum Income Guarantee rates and capital limits. As well as those pensioners who might be newly entitled in Hampstead and Highgate, some 3,000 pensioners who are currently entitled will benefit from the increase.
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